Fecal calprotectin was an effective and noninvasive diagnostic test for organic gastrointestinal disease in patients of any age, according to recent data.
Researchers analyzed 575 patients referred for endoscopy after reporting abdominal discomfort. Using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, calprotectin was measured in stool samples collected at least 24 hours before investigation.
Median calprotectin levels were higher among 212 patients with significant findings (median 97 mcg/g, IQR 43-185) compared with 326 patients without significant findings (10 mcg/g, IQR 10-23; P<.001).
The area under the curve (AUC) for a significant finding was 0.877 (95% CI, 0.85-0.90). For both the upper intestinal tract (AUC 0.730, 0.66-0.79) and the colon (AUC 0.912, 0.88-0.94), fecal calprotectin was a useful diagnostic parameter.
Researchers also concluded that the diagnostic value remained unchanged (AUC 0.889 vs. 0.832, P=.165) for patients older than 50 years.
“These findings are of clinical importance as they encourage the use of this simple and easily available biomarker in the diagnostic approach to patients with abdominal discomfort, especially to decide upon the necessity to perform endoscopy,” the researchers wrote.
Disclosure: Research was supported in parts by unrestricted grants to Dr. Burri by the Freiwillige Akademische Gesellschaft (Basel, Switzerland) and the Gottfried und Julia Bangerter-Rhyner-Stiftung (Bern, Switzerland). Bühlmann Laboratories AG provided the ELISA assay to measure fecal calprotectin.